Brandon Heath shares the vision behind his third album, Leaving Eden. Be sure to pick up your copy on Jan. 18!

TSO: Share the stories behind the songs “Your Love” and “Leaving Eden.”

Your Love:  This was the first song that I wrote for the new record, and I was growing out a huge beard at the time. I drove to my friend Jason Ingram’s house and was a little nervous because we hadn’t written together since “Give Me Your Eyes.” As I was walking in, Jason said, “I don’t know how you feel, but I’m so nervous to write right now. After writing Give Me Your Eyes, what kind of song are we going to write?”

I told him that I felt the same way — so we prayed. We both unanimously felt like God was telling us to keep it simple. We had asked God what we should write about, and we both felt a strong sense that we should tell people about God’s love. “Your Love” came out of that prayer. As I was writing, I was thinking about a guy that I had met one time who has climbed many, many mountains and has even peaked Mt. Everest but he doesn’t know God — which is where that second verse comes from.

I actually saw a YouTube video today of a kid singing “Your Love” — which was really fun to watch!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et7VNHk4pgU&feature=channel]

Leaving Eden: This song is about recent headlines. Even though we’re leaving Eden, there is another destination: Heaven. We have a choice — we can walk towards hope or we can walk towards hopelessness. For me, I really want to walk towards Heaven — I want to go home.

TSO: What’s typically involved in your songwriting process and what’s your inspiration?

Typically, songwriting is pretty informal. I’ll show up around 10 am, and then we’ll talk for about an hour. Maybe get an idea from 11 – noon. Go to lunch. Come back. Finish the idea. A lot of times, the song will be written before we even go to lunch, which is always the coolest thing. For me, if I’m writing a song by myself, it has to involve something that I’ve been thinking about lately… It’s usually pretty spontaneous and doesn’t have a lot of methodology to explain, it just kind of happens.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Vpm52kC3v4]

TSO: Share some stories about how your music has impacted people.

I get a lot of emails and comments about how people have gone on mission trips after listening to “Give Me Your Eyes.” But there is one story in particular that has really stood out. I met a woman in Cincinnati who shared how “I’m Not Who I Was” had really impacted her life. When she heard the song on the radio, she remembered that there was someone she needed to forgive. She had been in a horrible car accident where a drunk driver killed her daughter. The guy went to jail, and this woman had a really hard time forgiving him and was very bitter towards him. When she heard “I’m Not Who I Was,” it really convicted her. She went to the prison, sat down with him and told him that she forgave him. That’s easily the coolest thing I’ve ever heard with my music being involved.

TSO: What do you hope people take away from this album?

I hope that people are entertained when they listen to this record, because we made it fun to listen to. Like my other two records, I hope that this is a glimpse into my own story because I think there’s a lot of power in our testimonies and stories. I hope people see a little more truth in who I am and where I’ve come from. I want God’s love for His people to be known and want people to feel cared for. I hope people feel like they are listening to their own story.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovO9XCzGxTQ&feature=related]

TSO: What’s your favorite part of what you do?

I really enjoy being on tour with people — it’s like being out with family. I do miss home every once in a while, but for the most part, it’s really a fun job!

** For more info about Brandon Heath, check out www.brandonheath.net

** Heath will tour Leaving Eden through 2011, kicking off with GRAMMY Award winning artist TobyMac on the Winter Wonder Slam Tour, running Jan. 14 through Feb. 20, playing 17 cities including Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix and Denver. For spring touring, Heath will headline a month of shows with special guests Dave Barnes and Kristian Stanfill, and then join MercyMe for an estimated 20 cities.